Marketing leads are often a major topic. All things start with leads.
Software companies should be focused on product adoption. Our product must be used consistently and actively by people. No matter what business model we have, the key to our success is when our users experience that “aha” moment. This transforms our product from an experiment into a part of their daily work.
How can we make people more product-adopting? How can we help them have that “aha!” moment?
Two words: Strategic Repetition
The psychological power of repetition is immense. Studies show that merely repeating key points in a conversation can significantly influence a person’s decision-making.
It can significantly accelerate the rate at which leads adopt products when strategic repetition is used across multiple digital channels.
Today we will be discussing seven ways to increase product adoption without spamming your users. Each of these methods will work, but you will get the greatest benefit if you combine them all.
Let’s get started.
1. Make In-Product Walkthroughs and Tips
It is important to create an intuitive interface for software. However, you should also provide additional support for users who are new to your product or for those who have used it before.
The goal of new users is to achieve a specific task, but they won’t know how to do it using your product. You might also be unaware of the other benefits that can easily become part of your day-to-day job.
Visual walkthroughs and in-product tips will help users understand your product better and increase their likelihood of adopting it.
Google used this technique, for example, to announce Sheets Explore, a new feature.
Many Sheets users want to create charts and sort data. However, many people don’t know how to do this. Google provides an in-app prompt to allow users to start a walkthrough.
Google walks users through a short walkthrough of Sheets features.
Google’s in-app communications are coded into their software, most likely by their strong team of engineers. However, you can create similar functionality using a tool like Appcues without having to hard-code anything to your pages.
2. Segmented Email Marketing Can Re-Engage Users
Emails are a powerful marketing tool. But segmentation is what makes them great. Segmentation is key to increasing conversions and product adoption at every stage.
Vero is a great example of this in action. The email platform decided to increase the price of the upgraded features to customers who had not yet taken advantage of the offer. The email platform wanted to encourage users who had upgraded to use the new features and incorporate them into their daily routines.
Instead of sending out mass emails to customers, the team identified two key segments.
A large number of users had signed up via an AppSumo promo. This was the first segment. Vero wanted to present the new features to these users in order to keep them as customers.
Vero sent these users an email with a customized offer and a targeted message.
The second group consisted of users who were able to access the new features, but not actively using them.
These emails were part of a larger segmentation process that resulted in a 450% rise in conversions for Vero’s marketing campaigns.
Virtually any email service provider today will allow you to send multiple emails to different segments. The key to engaging with your audience in a unique way is to track and understand them.
3. Blog posts should contain subtle mentions
Content marketing is about creating value for your audience and helping them reach their goals in relation to a topic related to your product.
It’s also the perfect venue to promote your product in subtle ways: education.
There are three things you need to know when teaching a new concept: the “what”, “why”, “how”. All three are important in blog posts. These posts will tell you what to do, why it is important, and how you can actually execute it.
This is where your product really comes in.
Blog posts should be published regularly that explain how your product can help people achieve certain goals.
Ty Magnin, for example, is showing readers how to launch products using HubSpot in this guide. He mentions his company Appcues when he gets to the third strategy.
This is an easy and subtle way to promote your product, without actually promoting it. It’s also possible to promote your product in subtle ways on large 3rd-party publications where it isn’t permitted to make a more obvious promotion.
You simply need to show people how to use your product, and then give an example of using it in action.
4. Try Website and In-App Placement
Marketing is difficult because you can’t get your content on the platforms you control.
You have full control over your website and apps. These properties are vital and businesses often ignore them.
Every section of your website should target a particular stage of the customer journey. You should experiment with prompts, announcements, CTAs, prompts and other elements that move customers to the next stage.
BuildFire, for example, runs extensive content marketing campaigns. Visitors arrive at their blog and can only scroll two pages before being invited to use the free app builder.
After users sign up and log in to the builder, the CTAs are updated. They now focus on getting them to the next stage. In BuildFire’s instance, this is either paid app development services or an upgraded DIY plan.
For more urgent announcements, product launches and other events, you can also use in-app or website placements. As an example, see the following.
These strategies can be used for your business by simply identifying who you want to target at each spot on your app or website, then adding prompts to help them reach the next level.
5. Include Prompts In Team Email Signatures
Although it is simple, this one can be extremely effective as both a marketing tool as well as as an adoption tool.
Your team can encourage product adoption by including prompts or even direct CTAs within their email signatures. This will help you drive new customers to your company and increase your customer base.
It is subtle and non-obtrusive. It is expected that your signature will include some personalization or credentials. While it doesn’t feel spammy, you can use it to send strategic prompts with every email.
Sigstr is one of the best tools to roll this out across your company.
Engagement with your brand is the goal. This example shows a few ways that you can do this.
- It can be used as a PR release
- Name your connection to a famous person or brand
- Ask them if they have tried your product or a specific feature.
- Add a CTA for signups or upgrades
- Suggest a blog article similar to the one we wrote in #3
This strategy was even used by HubSpot to promote its INBOUND 2016 conference. This email signature was viewed over 210,000 times, and contributed to the success of the INBOUND 2016 conference.
6. Host Webinars & Live Demos To Train & Upsell Users
Webinars have become very popular in lead acquisition. You can present video content in an interactive setting, where viewers can ask questions and participate in the presentation.
These are the exact reasons webinars and live demonstrations are such powerful tools for product adoption.
They provide an interactive, visual medium that can be used to train both existing and prospective customers about your software. The video format allows viewers to interact with the presenter, making it easy to “show” instead of “tell”.
Live demos, on the other hand, are a great way to sell existing customers higher-tier plans and additional products, much like marketing webinars.
Close.io is one of the most impressive examples I have seen. Although the CRM platform’s core value proposition revolves around simplicity, one of their biggest problems is that users expect to face difficulty when trying new software.
Close.io uses live demos for product demonstrations, according to the company. The demos show viewers how the platform works and demonstrate that it is easy to use.
This would not work in any other medium. That’s why webinars or live demos are so useful when you need to show something visually.
7. Utilize Ad Retargeting To Stay Top-of-Mind
Everybody seems to be using the same statistic: only 2% convert their first website visitors. It’s interesting that I couldn’t find any legitimate source for this number. However, it’s easy to see that cold visitors convert at a very low rate.
No matter how hard you try to increase your CRO, most visitors will leave your site without buying your product or providing any contact information. What can we do to help these visitors?
Ad retargeting is the answer.
Although not many people will click through to your site, those who do will have shown an interest in what you are doing. Ad retargeting is a way to bring your brand, content and offers back to this warm audience on an ongoing basis.
You could, for example, use Facebook Ad retargeting to advertise a free trial to users that have visited your landing page free of charge at any time in the past.
Retargeting can also be used to encourage customers to adopt new features or to remind them of training opportunities that will help.
Many companies have reported impressive conversion increases with retargeting, with some reporting lifts of up to 1,000% . HubSpot’s Beginner Guide to Ad Retargeting will help you implement it in your business.
Conclusion: Increase Product Adoption in Your Company
These 7 strategies can be combined to dramatically increase product adoption.
- Make In-Product Walkthroughs and Tips
- Segmented Email Marketing Can Re-Engage Users
- Make Subtle Mentions in Blog Posts
- Try Website and In-App Placement
- Include Prompts In Team Email Signatures
- Host Webinars & Live Demos To Train & Upsell Users
- Utilize Ad Retargeting To Stay Top-of-Mind
No matter what technique you use, product adoption should be treated as a separate pursuit and not as a part of lead acquisition or customer retention.
I would love to hear about any other strategies you may have. Please leave a comment.